When working in Guided Reading groups, it’s important to regularly check in on your readers to ensure they’re making progress. This is true for readers at the earliest levels to the highest levels. The simplest way to do this is during actual small group time, with a running record. I firmly believe that a lot of information can be provided through a running record that only takes a few minutes to complete. I base this off of my experience using running records with my own readers. Not only is it not super intimidating when done frequently, but it also gives the reader a chance to have one-on-one time with you and for them to “show off” their reading skills. Kids love the chance to sit with you and read- even the ones who have a difficult time with reading. They just all crave that positive attention!
I always recommend doing a quick scan of the running record, once complete and providing the student with something to work on and something done well, before they leave. Right away, after just a few minutes together, you’re providing that student with a goal and a feeling of accomplishment. This leads to developed confidence, pride and motivation to keep growing as a reader.
As a reading specialist, several years ago I knew I needed more resources to use with my readers. I also was well aware that classroom teachers also needed help in the area of Guided Reading. That’s why I initially began writing my passages, which I love to do! I finally completed my fiction passages sets, up to Level Z. I wanted to make sure I was addressing the needs of all readers, from beginning to end. You can now grab Levels Pre A-Z of my Guided Reading Passages packs- check them out here. Take a look at the my N-Z bundle here, which includes a major discount or my super money savings bundle for all levels A-Z, here.
In working with readers that span multiple levels, in elementary school, Guided Reading principles remain the same. There needs to be word work done within an introduction to the text, as well as providing a purpose for reading. Readers then need to be doing the reading on their own, with guidance from you, as necessary. Then the reading needs to be followed up with comprehension discussions and questions. You’ll see these concepts present in all my passages from Levels Pre A-Z. My lesson plans all include a Before/During and After reading section to help you feel prepared for each passage. The passages are engaging and meant to provide insight and entertainment to the readers. The comprehension questions are then intended to get readers to really think about their text and provide evidence from the text, itself, leading to meaningful discussions as a group.
At levels W-Z, the word work focuses on breaking down words with multiple syllables, base words with multiple endings, affixes and Greek/Latin roots/affixes. I choose a few from each passage to introduce during the word work portion of the lesson, to briefly address how to figure out those words. The comprehension questions require a focus on character development, figurative language, structure of text and specific details from the text. At these levels, readers are reading more mature content that requires depth of thought. You can take a peek at my newest levels, W-Z, here!